Rabbi speech goes ahead
By Francesca Bardsley, Oxford Mail
More than 60 people attended a talk given by controversial Rabbi Ahron Cohen, in Oxford, despite protests that he should not be allowed to speak.
Rabbi Cohen is an anti-Zionist, meaning he does not support Israel as a Jewish state, and spoke on the subject Zionism is not Judaism — Anti-Israelism is not Anti-Semitism after being invited by the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford, MECO
The talk had to be moved at the last minute after the management of Wolfson College, where the talk was to be held, cancelled the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford’s booking.
Its new location, St Edward’s School in Woodstock Road, was only revealed an hour before the talk took place.
MECO chairman Dr Taj Hargey said: “It went very well in the end.
“There was a mixed audience of Muslims, Christians and Jews as well as people of other faiths.
“It was quite riveting and he answered the questions that were raised in a very responsive manner and left with many friends.”
Dr Hargey had received threatening and abusive calls and e-mails after it was announced Rabbi Cohen would be speaking, but said he invited everyone who protested to hear what the rabbi had to say.
But he said there was nobody protesting at the lecture and added: “Some people obviously disagreed quite fundamentally with the rabbi but everything was conducted in a very civilised manner.”
A spokesman for Wolfson College said the lecture booking was not made transparently and the governing body had not been given an opportunity to discuss whether and how to hold the event so had been forced to cancel the booking.